Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), has been a long time partner of Home For Good. She has been an amazing advocate and incredible supporter of the work to end chronic and veteran homelessness in LA County by 2016. In fact, she has been so dedicated to Home For Good and its partners, that she now calls Los Angeles her “third home.”
While visiting her “third home,” Barbara spoke at the Home For Good Convening on Friday, July 12. She opened her speech by asking the crowd of providers and supporters in attendance if they had watched the exciting Wimbledon tennis match played between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. From there, she wove an insightful and engaging story relating these “elite athletes” to LA’s own housing champions. As she described, LA has “no shortage of hometown heroes” fighting to defeat homelessness with the greatest “mental toughness” and “athletic skill.” She invited everyone to imagine what LA would be like without chronic and veteran homelessness, and challenged those in the room to push forward in order to attain these ambitious goals and make that image a reality.
“As I stand here today, I hope at this mid-point of the Home For Good plan, you are like Andy Murray in the third set. You've got the confidence of establishing the foundation of skills necessary to solve homelessness –data driven, leveraging mainstream resources, system organized, using evidence informed practices, and investing collectively in what works– but to really win the match, it’s going to be necessary to shift to higher gear –to use your mental toughness and persevere.”
As she closed, Barbara Poppe left everyone with a powerful end to her metaphor: “I’m rooting for you to win.”
Barbara Poppe is the Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, overseeing the federal response to homelessness across 10 federal agencies. Click to learn more about Barbara Poppe and USICH.
To read Barbara's full speech from the Home for Good Convening: Barbara's Speech